Month: January 2014

Coping Without Being Connected – Part II

Coping Without Being Connected – Part II

It’s over 2 months without a data plan now, and I’ve discovered a few things about myself and how I now fit into society.

What I’ve discovered in general

  • There is Wi-Fi everywhere. It’s at the grocery store, fast food places, and schools.
  • I still get email when not connected to Wi-Fi. Yes, it’s true. I don’t know if this is common or not, but with Brightspot I can still send and receive email when not on Wi-Fi.
  • There is Wi-Fi at intersections. My trusty Windows phone tells me when Wi-Fi is available, and often times when I’m at a stop light, there is an open Wi-Fi network.

What I’ve learned about myself

  • Sometimes I really miss being able to access the Internet. I would to be able to keep track of the sports scores, get turn by turn directions, get media texts, and send media texts myself.
  • I realize when I can’t access certain functionality on my phone, I feel it’s good for me. It’s like my spoiled kids who get whatever they want with their On Demand TV, Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. I think it’s good for me to not be able to access media whenever I want to.

How I now fit into society

I was at my neighbors house a few days ago. A friend was telling me how he’s in a league where they pick NFL games against the spread. I told him how my friend and I made a site where you can look up historical NFL odds data and I went to look it up on my phone. Embarrassingly enough, I could not access the site from my phone. He asked me what the problem was and I quickly changed the subject. I didn’t want to go into detail how I don’t have a data plan on my phone. I still wanted to talk about the NFL :).

Since I can no longer get turn by turn directions, I have a few options:

  • Use a paper map
  • Print out directions before hand
  • Call my wife as I’m driving
  • Use my intuition
  • Stop at a McDonald’s on the way, connect to their Wi-Fi, and look up where I need to go

Since I’ve been without a data plan, I’ve used all of these methods. The time I called my wife for directions was not a proud moment :).

What it best for society? Would be better off if none of us had access to data plans? It’s an interesting question because so many business models are now built on people being connected 24/7 along with GPS access. I think about the early 90’s when I would read the paper to see the sports scores and the stock quotes. My life was good then, and I don’t think it was any better when I had a data plan. I wasn’t happier then…

A few times I’ve heard that people’s happiest times are when they have very little, and their scraping to get by. I think a point like that in a person’s life they are able to appreciate the little things much more. Since they can’t just go out and buy whatever they want, each decision in life is important.

It’s make you think what really is best for society, and where we are heading. Would we be better off without the Internet? Maybe so. Maybe we’re heading into a new generation, Generation I, where everything is instant. It will be interesting to see if we can keep our heads above water in a sensible fashion.


This post is a follow up to my original post, here